Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hitler's Pianist

A noteworthy write up in the SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) of Peter Conradi's book "Hitler's Piano Player". Ernst Hanfstaengl was at one time a friend and personal pianist to Hitler, later Hanfstaengl wound up working for Franklin Roosevelt:

"And then there was Hanfstaengl's piano playing: when he crashed out the prelude from the Mastersingers of Nuremberg or the liebestod from Tristan and Isolde, it would send Hitler into paroxysms of delight. He would play martial music to get Hitler into a fighting mood before he addressed rallies. When Hitler was unable to sleep, he would summon Hanfstaengl to his modest Munich flat to play more soothing melodies. "

Read the rest here (registration req)

Hitler's Piano Player- The Rise and Fall of Ernst Hanfstaengl, Confidant of Hitler, Ally of FDR
is Available from and elsewhere.

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